Wall Street legend Richard Jenrette left a note of 24 ways to have a happy and successful life before he died - here’s his advice
Everyone wants more money. And even though, deep down, we know it won’t make us truly happy, it would make still make life SOOO much easier. Never having to worry about the rent, bills or overdrafts. It would be a dream.
And one man who knew all about the magic of making money was Wall Street legend Richard Jenrette, who died last week of lung cancer at the age of 89.
He co-founded the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in 1959, which eventually grew to a value of more than $11.5 billion.
After he died, a note was found on his desk, called ‘What I Learned (How to Succeed and have a Long and Happy Life),’ detailing how to get ahead in finance and in life.
The note was read aloud at his memorial service in Charleston, South Carolina, and it’s filled with simple but important advice like why you should always be learning, travelling and having fun.
Here’s what he said:
1. Stay in the game. That’s often all you need to do – don’t quit. Stick around! Don’t be a quitter!
2. Don’t burn bridges (behind you)
3. Remember – Life has no blessing like a good friend! You can’t get enough of them. Don’t leave old friends behind – you may need them
4. Try to be nice and say “thank you” a lot!
5. Stay informed/KEEP LEARNING!
6. Study — Stay Educated. Do Your Home Work!! Keep learning!
7. Cultivate friends of all ages – especially younger
8. Run Scared — over-prepare
9. Be proud — no Uriah Heep for you! But not conceited. Know your own worth.
10. Plan ahead but be prepared to allow when opportunity presents itself.
11. Turn Problems into Opportunities. Very often it can be done. Problems create opportunities for change — people willing to consider change when there are problems.
12. Present yourself well. Clean, clean-shaven, dress “classically” to age. Beware style, trends. Look for charm. Good grammar. Don’t swear so much — it’s not cute.
13. But be open to change — don’t be stuck in mud. Be willing to consider what’s new but don’t blindly follow it. USE YOUR HEAD – COMMON SENSE.
14. Have some fun – but not all the time!
15. Be on the side of the Angels. Wear the White Hat.
16. Have a fall-back position. Heir and the spare. Don’t leave all your money in one place.
17. Learn a foreign language.
18. Travel a lot — around the world, if possible.
19. Don’t criticize someone in front of others.
20. Don’t forget to praise a job well done (but don’t praise a poor job)
21. I don’t like to lose — but don’t be a poor loser if you do.
22. It helps to have someone to love who loves you (not just sex).
23. Keep your standards high in all you do.
24. Look for the big picture but don’t forget the small details.
This is genuinely inspiring stuff – even if it’s slightly naïve in failing to recognise that so many people don’t have the economic resources or opportunities to succeed so easily (and the no swearing rule is surely asking too much of a lot of us).
But still, there’s plenty here that pretty much all of us could apply to our own lives. Go forth, and live well!
(Images: Getty / Paramount Pictures)